Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Blade Runner banned

No, I am not talking about Rick Deckard from the classic flick, Blade Runner, although after reading this story you might wish I was:

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — The IAAF ruled Monday that double-amputee sprinter
Oscar Pistorius is ineligible to compete in the Beijing Olympics because his prosthetic racing legs give him a clear competitive advantage.

The International Association of Athletics Federations had twice postponed the ruling, but the executive Council said the South African runner's curved, prosthetic "Cheetah" blades were considered a technical aid in violation of the rules.

"As a result, Oscar Pistorius is ineligible to compete in competitions organized under IAAF rules," the IAAF said in a statement from Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Pistorius, known as the "blade runner," announced last week that he planned to appeal any adverse decision, including taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

I am unsure how I would decide this issue. That I know someone who has a disability, I can easily entertain positions on both sides of this issue. Mr. Pistorius has had these prosthetics all of his life; they are a part of him. On the other hand, he could never experience what an able bodied runner has to deal with, such as an ankle twist.

Similarly, I can understand the Professional Golf Association's insistence Casey Martin walk the length of the Master Tournament. It is, of course, unfair, Mr. Martin has this birth defect, but on the other hand, not all golfers can be Masters.

What's your take?

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